The Larry Brooks Piece from the NY Post detailing that the NHL is demanding concessions in the way contract salary cap hits are made with the threat that they'll refuse the new Ilya Kovalchuk contract, move to cancel the Roberto Luongo contract, and, like thuper-theriouthly threaten the Hossa deal isn't even 12 hours old yet and already there's a maelstrom among the media and the hockey blogosphere about every angle of these dealings.
What if this is an insanely calculated move?
So far, Brooks' story has yet to be confirmed by the league. While I hold Larry Brooks' integrity in high regard, thinking that his unnamed source gave him the info in good confidence, I wonder. What if this leak was a way for the NHL to actually gather reaction to this move before they make it, to see if it's worth the hassle it will cause them? The league gets to find out exactly how everybody will react and then, when they find out how negative it is, they get to say that it was never their intention in the first place. It's like a recon mission.
Even better, Larry Brooks has been vocal about his support of the Kovalchuk contract and his worry that the league will cause another harmful lockout. I don't imagine that as a reporter, he's very popular with the dark-cloaked men behind the scenes. If they deny that this was a valid story, not only have they successfully gotten the intel they wanted from the hockey blogosphere, but they've also moved to discredit a writer who has rattled a few too many cages.
Of course, this entire concept relies on the idea that the league is devious enough to carry out a plan like this. I don't believe it, but at least it was a fun mental exercise.